Waypoints 36: Neon Genesis Evangelion Episodes 20-21

Content Warning: Discussion of suicide from around 1:48:00 through 1:52:00 and 1:59:00 through 2:04:00

Neon Genesis Evangelion is often touted as a "thinking person's anime." Despite it's unevenness, it does tend to stay away from a monster of the week narrative and will often devote entire episodes to the mental states of it's main characters. What sometimes gets conflated with this fact is that all of this deep introspection lands or has narrative weight every single time it happens. At its best the show weaves​ plot and themes effortlessly, but sometimes just asking existential questions isn't enough to hand wave the ways characters have acted or been treated throughout the show. Can an existential line of questioning feel earned even if it ignores previous character growth? Does it cheapen earlier plot points when thematic elements begin overpower literal narrative? We tackle these questions and more as we discuss Episodes 20-21 on this week's Waypoints.

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